"Of course, the association of Indonesian dive tourism businesses warmly welcomes the step to curb high flight ticket costs," chief of the association's business section, Andi Makmur Ajie, said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The higher priced flight tickets has led to a significant drop in the number of dive tourists in several areas in Java, he said.
"When flight tickets were low, the round trip ticket (form Jakarta) to Biak was Rp7 million. This year the one-way ticket from Jakarta to Biak is Rp8 million," he said.
Due to ticket costs, the dive tourism industry suffered losses of 20 percent, he said.
However, tour operator Rainier H Daulay did not share Andi's views.
"I doubt that foreign airlines will enter Indonesia. It will take years for them to make profits," said Dauly, who is also Deputy Chief of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI).
Higher flight tickets also resulted in hotels and restaurants suffering losses throughout the country, he said.
However, he agreed that the government could lower taxes on domestic airlines, as part of efforts to lower ticket costs.
"Airline companies need high costs, though their profits are small. Instead of inviting foreign airlines, (the government) had better reduce their taxes for a certain period of time, until there is normal tariff," he said.
Reporter: Livia Kristiant, iSuharto
Editor: Eliswan Azly